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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2017254 Changes in financial aid and student enrollment at historically Black colleges and universities after the tightening of PLUS credit standards: An update for the 2013/14 school year
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education tightened the credit history standards for obtaining Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). Concerned about the possible effects of this change on historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), REL Mid-Atlantic's HBCU Research Alliance wanted to measure and understand changes in financial aid and student enrollment at HBCUs during the first full year after the new credit standards were imposed. The resulting report found declines in the number of PLUS recipients and enrollment at HBCUs (Johnson, Bruch, & Gill, 2015). This follow-up study looks at changes in financial aid and enrollment after the summer of 2013, when the Department of Education changed the appeals process for families denied PLUS loans. The study found that the number of PLUS recipients at HBCUs increased in 2013/14, though the number of recipients remained substantially below the level before PLUS credit standards were tightened in 2011. Enrollment at HBCUs continued to decline in 2013/14, as did the enrollment of Black students nationwide.
REL 2010086 A Systematic Comparison of the American Diploma Project College Readiness Standards with those of the ACT, College Board, and Standards For Success
This study of four national English language arts standards compares the content of three sets of standards with a benchmark set, the American Diploma Project (ADP), to see how closely the sets agree on what students should know in English language arts to prepare for college. The match between each of the three comparison sets and the 62 content statements in the ADP benchmark varies, from 77 percent of the statements for the College Board College Readiness Standards and 68 percent for Standards for Success to 34 percent for the ACT College Readiness Standards. But only 5 percent of the ADP statements fully match the content in all three comparison sets--27 percent when partial matching is also considered.
REL 2010085 Processes and Challenges in Identifying Learning Disabilities Among English Language Learner Students in three New York State Districts
To help districts accurately identify students who are English language learners and also have learning disabilities, this study examines practices and challenges in the processes applied in three New York State districts in identifying learning disabilities among students who are English language learners. Using interviews with district and school personnel and documents from state and district web sites, the study finds both similarities and differences in practices, with more differences in the prereferral process than in the referral process. It identifies eight challenges to the identification of learning disabilities in English language learner students: difficulties with policy guidelines; different stakeholder views about timing for referral of English language learner students; insufficient knowledge among personnel involved in identification; difficulties providing consistent, adequate services to English language learner students; lack of collaborative structures in prereferral; lack of access to assessments that differentiate between second language development and learning disabilities; lack of consistent monitoring of struggling students who are English language learners; and difficulty obtaining students' previous school records. Further analysis suggests five interrelated elements that appear to be important for avoiding misidentification of learning disabilities among students who are English language learners: adequate professional knowledge, effective instructional practices, effective and valid assessment and interventions, interdepartmental collaborative structures, and clear policy guidelines.
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